General information about Cold Chain Management and our services
What is the cold supply chain?
*It consists in how you distribute goods in a particular controlled temperature, including the transport and the storage.
In case of international supply chains, there are different possible transport conditions, which secure the good protection of the cargo. The cold chain concerns the transport of food, pharmaceutical, or chemical products. Indeed, these products have to be stored and transported in strictly specified ranges of temperature.
Cold chain management and logistics use temperature’s control transportation and storage to ensure the product remains within its recommended conditions.
What we offer at SINO Shipping – Our services
At SINO Shipping, the services we offer when it comes to cold supply chain in order to facilitate the shipping of your goods are the following:
- Ensure the handling conditions are maintained throughout the cold chain.
- Ensure the appropriate storage conditions throughout the cold chain.
- Maintain the product safety and integrity throughout the cold chain during all the shipping.
The cold chain infrastructure gathers suppliers, transport system, warehouses, and the end customers.
When it comes to the transport system, we can ship your goods by airplanes, boats and trains thanks to different options such as refrigerated trucks, refrigerated railway wagons and refrigerated cargo containers.
The fresh cargo has introduced a low-cost solution that protects fresh perishable products and is sensitive to transit temperature, while ensuring a lower overall cost for shipping.
This service combines good logistics practice, cold chain control, pre-conditioning and delivery to the ramp using specially insulated thermal protection trolleys for protection of tarmacs before loading them into the aircraft or reefer container.
Best Cold management services in China
Cold Chain Logistics Planning Planning is the key to successful and efficient Cold Chain Distribution. Yet even with careful planning, many companies still miss out on opportunities to save money, streamline processes and increase overall efficiency. This could be related to packaging, staying current with the latest technology for monitoring temperature or choosing an experienced transportation provider – all of which can have a significant impact on efficiency.
Unproven Packaging Systems
When dealing with Cold Chain shipments, companies should always use packaging that has been properly tested or qualified for maintaining the required temperature range. As an example, it may not be appropriate to use a packaging system qualified for transporting shipments under dry ice conditions for a commodity that needs to be kept at refrigerated temperatures. We have come across situations where shippers added cold packs to an insulated design assuming that it will keep the shipment cold, but it’s a gamble if the system has not been tested under these conditions. The system simply may not be designed to hold at this temperature. The bottom line is: if the package hasn’t been tested to perform under very specific conditions – the shipper is open to a great deal of risk.
Regardless of the packaging system chosen, companies should also always employ some sort of temperature monitoring device. Advancements in device monitoring technology have given shippers a variety of options that range in cost.
Cost Versus Value
Conversely, some shippers may be using packaging configurations that are too sophisticated and usually too costly for their needs. It’s not cost effective, for instance, to use a packaging system that will maintain temperature for 72 or 96 hours for shipments that are likely to be delivered within 24 hours. Likewise, using a large active shipping configuration when a passive system is sufficient can also result in unnecessary costs, including paying for a lot of empty payload space if the unit’s capacity is not maximized. While some businesses have determined that it’s simpler to have a single packaging configuration for all their global shipments, many would benefit from conducting a thorough cost/value analysis.
Even with the best systems and monitoring technology in place, an unplanned delay or rerouting could potentially jeopardize the stability of a shipment. That’s why it’s critical for shippers to work with their transportation partners to develop contingency plans that clearly map out what is to be done in the event of a delay. This includes whether to keep packaging cold or frozen in refrigerated rooms or freezers, or replenishing the pack out as needed. These contingencies must also include the recipients of the shipment, determining if after hours delivery is an option and if proper personnel are on site to accept an after hours delivery. Keeping the lines of communication open will ultimately help avoid losses.
Active and Passive Shipping
As a first step in selecting the most appropriate packaging, it’s important to identify whether a passive or active shipping system is needed.
Efficient Cold Chain Distribution
Determining whether an active or passive system is the best solution is based on several factors including temperature, volume and destinations. Here is what you should consider when choosing a packaging system:
1.Does the product need to be frozen, refrigerated or at a controlled room temperature?
2.What is the required temperature range? Can product be out of this range for any period of time?
3.What temperature will the package be exposed to during transit based on its final destination? As an example, is the product shipping from the US to Australia where climates may be opposite at various times of the year?
4.Are different types of systems needed for summer versus winter pack outs, or is one universal configuration sufficient for year round shipping? a. If separate systems, at what temperature is it necessary to switch from winter to summer pack out and vice versa?
Volume of Product
1.What are the typical payload requirements? How much space is needed?
2.How much product is being sent? Is it a uniform number of units to each locale or will volumes vary?
3.How much is being sent? Is it a uniform number of units to each locale or will the volume vary by destination?
1.Are destinations all or primarily domestic (24 hour delivery)?
2.Are they mostly going to international locations (48 to 96 hours delivery)?
3. Is it a mix of domestic and global destinations? For international destinations, it’s important to factor in the amount of time needed to clear customs, in addition to transit times.
Advances in technology have made monitoring temperature easier and more accurate. With an array of available devices – from those that give an alert when the temperature falls outside of its range to others that provide actual, real time readings – as well as a range of price points, it’s difficult to know which to choose.
Types of Temperature Monitoring Devices
USB-Enabled: Data is gathered by a drive that is connected to a USB port in the temperature monitoring device. Upon delivery it is removed from the device and connected to a computer’s USB port. The results can then be emailed to the shipper immediately in a PDF format if necessary. Direct Information Download: For enhanced security, other devices must be retrieved and sent back to the shipper either by the recipient or the transportation partner. Once received, the information is downloaded directly from the device.
1.How long can the device record? Will it withstand the length of the trip?
2.When should it begin recording?
3.At what intervals should it record? Essentially, the device should conform to the specific pack out. And like pack outs themselves, monitoring devices must be used based on the manufacturer’s specification. This includes paying careful attention to where the device is positioned. If it is placed up against a frozen gel pack, for instance, it could potentially send false readings. It is recommended to use these devices as a redundancy even when working with active packing systems that provide temperature data.
The best transportation specialists will also have strong relationships with airlines that have expertise in cold chain services. These airlines have established SOPs and handling procedures and usually offer custom facilities such as cold rooms and freezers at airports. They typically have specific density and loading procedures for cold chain shipments, and give preferred cargo positioning on the aircraft itself.
For instance, shipments are not positioned near a cargo door where they might be exposed to significant temperature variations. Pilots are notified as to what is on board, and may even have the ability to regulate temperature in cargo areas from the cockpit. Ground crew is trained to handle these special shipments as well, further expediting movement and ensuring packages or active units are not kept on the tarmac and exposed to the elements.
To Test or Not to Test
Once the packing configuration itself has been determined, it’s advisable to conduct a series of dry runs to ensure the systems work. Although pre-qualified passive designs are tested in a lab environment, which are typically fairly accurate, live transit testing is always a wise investment – especially if you have a commodity that is rare or very expensive to manufacture.
The actual testing can be fairly simple. Use a temperature device and ship some water at a refrigerated or frozen temperature to a variety of challenging locations to determine if the system is robust enough to perform under the logistics and environmental conditions in which it will be used. A typical testing scenario might consider a packaging system with a 72-hour transit life. If tests to various destinations indicate that performance starts to degrade around the 65-hour or 66-hour mark, it may be prudent to move up to a system that provides a 96-hour life to reduce or even eliminate the margin of error.
Working with a Transportation Specialist
While some companies may prefer to handle the investigation and final determination as to which packing systems are best, not all have the resources to dig as deeply as is necessary. Thus, others opt to work directly with a cold chain transportation specialist from the outset. Partnering with a third-party expert gives shippers access to a much deeper knowledge base since experts in the field have been exposed to a wide variety of “real life” shipping scenarios using various packaging configurations, both active and passive. Their knowledge and experience can help quickly identify the best configuration available in the market for your specific needs.
Planning and communication becomes critical when a transportation partner enters the equation, especially when it comes to the actual movement of packages. While evaluating cold chain transportation specialists, consider the following attributes:
• Works with shippers to pick up packages closer to flight departure times
• Knows in advance what the import/export and customs processes/ required permits are at each point of entry
• Has an established communication protocol to alert shippers of delays and determine whether consignee can place shipment in the proper environment after business hours
• Determines after hours and weekend delivery protocols, as appropriate
• Provides door-to-door or customs broker services
• Advises on expected transit, customs clearance, recovery and delivery times by country
Put your cold chain distribution strategies into action
Getting a specialist involved early in the process can help to minimize the time a product is contained in the packaging system. Internal considerations, as well as information that will be important to share with a transportation partner includes:
• What is being shipped?
• How much (size and weight)?
• How frequently?
• What time of year?
• To where?
• What are the lane segments?
• Pick up ready times?
• What is the transit time?
• What other time constraints exist?
• What is the necessary temperature range?
• At what temperature does viability of the product degrade? What is the stability data?
• What external temperatures need to be considered?
• Active or passive shipping configurations?
• Temperature monitoring employed?
• What are the per country regulatory requirements for imports? How does this impact time in customs?
Remember, since delays can happen for any reason – weather, mechanical issues, unexpected customs holdups and more – it’s important to have a clearly detailed SOP in place. Should the transportation partner open the box and replenish coolant in the event that temperature is compromised, or refrigerate the package if the delay extends beyond the system’s time constraints?
About storage services
Refrigerated warehouse – temperature controlled
The issue of this type of warehouse is to ensure both the temperature and the integrity of your products. We offer diverse refrigerated warehouse options and transportations for your temperature-sensitive goods.
We provide state-of-the-art cold storage and freezer warehousing facilities and services. Our experts have an important knowledge regarding the cold chain. Our process is focused on giving you visibility through integrated systems, temperature monitoring and offering your product the right place on time while maintaining the product’s integrity.
Dry Warehouse / Ambient
This kind of warehouse is the most adapted option for dry storage products that do not have strict and specific temperature requirements. Our dry and ambient facilities are strategically placed in the main cities of China (please refer to the part “our warehouse location”). Our ambient warehouses are well kept, clean, certified and cost efficient.
Our warehouse location
In order to provide you the best services and to respond to all of your needs, our warehouses are situated in the four Chinese towns that exceeds 10 millions of inhabitants including Shenzhen/Guanghzou, Beijing, Hong Kong, Changging and Shanghai.
Why choose us ?
We believe that the professionalism and skills of our experts combined with state-of-the-art refrigerated warehouse facilities in every temperature range make us the best for the cold chain management.
Moreover, we think that flexibility is the key word for keeping on improving our capacity to meet all your expectations regarding your shipments’ specificities.
In a few words, here are the main points why you should choose us for the cold chain management of your products:
- First of all, thanks to our experts and capacity to have an overview on the situation, you will be able to have a perfect visibility regarding where your product is – stored or being shipped – and the temperature levels of its storing or shipment, and this until it reaches the delivery place. Moreover, you will be able to contact us when you want in order to have information because our experts are dedicated to you.
- Furthermore, given that we have different types of warehouses and that thanks to our ability to be flexible, we are able to provide you with the adapted services. Indeed, we offer right warehousing, cold packaging or refrigerated transport – rail freight, sea freight, airfreight – and we take responsibility of the handling of your goods so that you have nothing to worry about. We commit to maintaining the temperature integrity of your product throughout the entire process.
- Finally, thanks to our cold supply logistics, we undertake to deliver your goods on time, whether you are dealing with orders involving next day deliveries or any temperature controlled product, everything will be good thanks to our state-of-the-art facilities. We are here to accompany you products from point A to point B.
Our SINO experts are well-known for their proactive attitude and wealth of experiences. They are committed to ensure all your China logistics needs are well taken care of.
Interested in our logistics services? Need further assistance & dedicated information?